skip to Main Content

Introducing the Schedule integration

Have you ever wanted to run your recipes on a schedule, where your actions could keep running on a recurring basis? If you’re like most of our users, you have, as support for recipes that automatically run on a repeating schedule has been our most popular request for the last few months.

The Schedule integration

The biggest new feature of the Automator Pro 5.7 release is the new Schedule integration, which introduces the following triggers:

  • Repeat every hour, day, week, month or year at a specific time
  • Repeat every weekday at a specific time
  • Run on a specific date and at a specific time

Let’s explore the first trigger in the list. This is what it looks like:

Schedule integration triggers

When this trigger is set up in a recipe and the recipe is made live, all actions in the recipe will repeat on the schedule you set for the number of times that are set (including forever). When the scheduled date and time arrive, the actions in the recipe will run, whether it’s performing some maintenance function on a site, logging data for a report on a schedule, or sending email notifications to users that haven’t yet performed a key activity.

Different options exist for each time period selection, and you can make recipes repeat as often as every hour or with multi-year intervals, from once to an unlimited number of times. If you’re wondering how you can turn recipes with a Schedule integration off, it’s as easy as setting the recipe back to a Draft status.

You may also be wondering how you can keep track of various recurring recipes, and it’s why we introduced a new menu entry in Pro: Scheduled recipes. Included below is a screenshot of the page.

Scheduled Recipe List

This new tool will allow you to see, by next run date, when repeating recipes will run. From this page you can also trigger a recipe to run immediately (noting that it will still run at its scheduled time) or you can cancel that instance of the recipe run completely. The new repeating recipes do run based on a cron, so if your timing needs to be as accurate as possible, we suggest using a server-based cron (your host can help if you want to set this up).

The next trigger is the ability to run recipes on weekdays of your choice at a specific time. Maybe every Monday you want to send your Group Leaders an updated count of course completions that you track in post meta, or perhaps you send reminders out to students to begin a mandatory course that they haven’t yet started.

The final new trigger allows you to schedule actions to run once at a specific day and time. This is functionally equivalent to using a Run Now trigger where the actions are scheduled to run at a specific time.

The new Schedule integration is a very powerful tool with many nuances, so we highly recommend checking out the Knowledge Base article as you get started with it.

Google Sheets triggers

We recently released a new addon for Google Sheets that you can find in the Google Marketplace that allows you to connect your Google Sheets to your WordPress site, allowing you to trigger recipes based on changes in a Google Sheet. With this web app connected, you can do things like update product inventory in Woo based on records in a Google Sheet, update user profile data based on changes in a Sheet and more!

Google Sheets MarketPlace App

The system works by sending data to Uncanny Automator via webhook whenever a change is made to a cell and you move focus away from the cell. These are requirements imposed by Google, which means that if you update values by formula, or another app, they will not trigger webhook notifications to an Automator recipe. It will only work when a user manually makes changes to a value.

The new Google Sheets Web App integration adds a single trigger: Receive data from Google Sheets Web App.

The setup for using a Google Marketplace app with your Google Sheets requires a number of steps to set up, so make sure you follow the guide in our Knowledge Base.

LifterLMS updates

Our LifterLMS integration adds these 2 triggers for Pro users:

  • A user enrolls in a membership
  • A user triggers an engagement

While the triggers open up many opportunities, we suspect these 4 new conditions will help even more:

  • The user does not have a membership
  • The user has a membership
  • The user is enrolled in a course
  • The user is not enrolled in a course

Magic button blocks & attributes

There are some big improvements to Magic buttons and Magic links in the 5.7 release.

First up are new Gutenberg blocks. With these, you can add magic buttons and links to any page, select the recipe/trigger linked to the button you want to display, and we’ll take care of the rest. No more shortcodes are required for Gutenberg use. Here’s what it looks like:

Magic Button Block

We have also introduced some new attributes to magic button and link shortcodes to improve usability. The following are now available:

  • is_ajax: When set to “yes”, the button uses an Ajax submission instead of a page reload.
  • submit_message: Optionally add different text for the button when it has been clicked but the recipe hasn’t yet completed; this is particularly relevant for Ajax-based submissions
  • success_message: Show different text for the button label on completion of the recipe run after the link or button has been clicked.

Other improvements

All of the capabilities that follow could be major features in their own right, but with 5.7 being such a big update, we’ll mention them briefly in this section.

Woo Subscriptions gains a new action to remove a subscription product from a user’s subscription. This can be helpful when users switch subscriptions to potentially remove an item that’s no longer relevant.

In BuddyBoss, there are new checkboxes to optionally generate preview images from the first URL in a message when posting to activity streams. This is what it looks like:

BuddyBoss URL Preview

In the LearnDash action to send a certificate, there’s a new field to add CSS styling that’s independent of the certificate body editor. This will help with more granular control over CSS.

Elsewhere in LearnDash, actions to send an email to Group Leaders will now send out independent emails to each recipient instead of a combined email to all recipients.

In Woo, the action to add a product to an order gains fields for price and quantity, and in Woo Memberships, there are new tokens for Membership post ID and plan post ID.

There is of course more in the release, but what’s above captures the highlights. We hope you find the additions useful!

author avatar
Ryan Moore Director
Ryan Moore (MA, PMP, BCom) is the Cofounder and Director of Uncanny Owl, creators of Uncanny Automator and a suite of popular add-ons for LearnDash. Since 2013, Ryan has helped thousands of companies add elearning and automation capabilities to their WordPress websites.

This Post Has 0 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This page may contain affiliate links. Once in a while, we may earn a commission from those links. But with or without commissions, we only recommend products we like.
Back To Top